Yesterday, in going out on my rounds to feed the many cats I feed in the Beechwood area of Rochester, I came upon a sight that I KNEW I was going to see, but hated to see regardless. Four baby kittens under a bush with two adults standing around. It was in front of a house where months ago, a woman was putting her garbage out, and there were older kittens outside and I said to her, are those your cats? She said yes, I asked her if they were spayed or neutered, she said no, they are boys. I explained why it didn’t matter. I drove away shaking my head. Sure enough, now we have more cats on the street. I got out of my car, went over and placed a plate of food and bowl of water. The one young adult, don’t know if it was the mother or not, came over hungrily to eat. And soon, so did two of the four kittens. I was able to pick up the two separately, but placed them back down as I did not have a plan. I always need a plan. I contacted a friend to help me get the adult cats spayed and neutered (TNR), and I would grab the kittens the next morning. I still didn’t have a plan when I woke this am. about the kittens. But as usual, knowing there are babies out there, on the busy street of Melville, its all I could think about, so I went out at 5 am. to see if they were there. They were not. I will attempt again tomorrow. I am sick about it.
In the same vein, if you remember the two gorgeous white kittens under my rescue a few months ago, they came from a cat named Fluffy, who belongs to a family in the city. They were giving the kittens away to an acquaintance and he asked me if I wanted them, which I did, and had them spayed and adopted out. I made contact with the family, and made an appointment for Fluffy to get spayed. First excuse, a member came down with Covid. Cancel first appointment. Make another for Fluffy. “I forgot” about the appointment was the next excuse. New appointment made, and yesterday I get a text from the woman that Fluffy got out by mistake and is now pregnant again.
I am pissed off by such irresponsibility. More homeless cats and more unwanted kittens on this planet. This woman is pregnant herself, so of course, she is totally against getting this cat spayed and her kittens aborted. I told her – ITS NOT THE SAME. I sent her a link as to why it isn’t.
Spaying a pregnant cat terminates the pregnancy, making this a controversial issue. Some people cannot bear the thought of killing fetal kittens. Others raise concern allowing the pregnant cat to have kittens contributes to the pet overpopulation problem.
Spaying a pregnant cat includes abortion, a word that evokes a variety of emotions. Proponents don't like having to take lives of unborn kittens, but their position is based on pragmatic reasoning. Opponents simply do not like the taking of lives under any circumstances, whether born or unborn.
Many animal shelters automatically spay a pregnant cat that comes into the shelter. Some no-kill shelters allow the mother cat to give birth, especially if the pregnancy is late-term. There are some rescue groups that opt to never spay a rescued pregnant cat.
The enormous cat overpopulation problem is partially caused by cat owners' failure to spay or neuter their cats.
Animal rescue groups, humane societies, and TNR (trap-neuter-release) groups are overwhelmed in trying to control cat overpopulation, and "kitten season," which extends for a long part of each year in many geographical areas, is met with dread by these groups. They know this year's kitten crop will be responsible for the deaths of last year's kittens or older cats at shelters. There simply isn't enough space to house them all, and something must give. It's a matter of supply and demand and young kittens are in the highest demand.
Spaying a rescued pregnant cat can help contain the overpopulation problem.
Of course, there is no evidence that the people who plan to adopt the mother and/or kittens would have gone to the shelter instead. Perhaps they weren't even looking for a cat until they heard a friend, neighbor, or co-worker had adoptable kittens. An individual who is willing to keep both the mother cat and the kittens or find good, permanent homes for them, should not be made to feel guilty for allowing the birth. Of course the mother cat and her kittens should be spayed and neutered as soon as possible.
If the pregnant cat is very young, very old, or in poor health, pregnancy can cause even more health problems. The kindest and most compassionate action anyone could take with one of these cats is to spay her and abort her litter.
Lastly, a very rare sighting of a cat I rescued as an older kitten, Butterscotch, who remained feral in my house. He sneaks up occasionally when I am around.
Have a great day!
"Ignorance isn't bliss, but sometimes Ignorance makes it possible for us to sleep at night."